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Diabetics Often Experience Dry Mouth, What’s the Cause?

Diabetes is a disease that can affect all parts of the body, including the oral cavity. Not infrequently, sufferers experience dry mouth. Why does dry mouth occur in diabetics? Check out the explanation in the following review.

Diabetics Often Experience Dry Mouth, What's the Cause?

Recognizing the Causes of Dry Mouth in Diabetics

Diabetics, aka diabetics, can experience dry mouth (xerostomia). This condition includes the common signs of diabetes in the mouth.

The symptoms vary, ranging from a rough tongue, frequent pain in the mouth, cracked lips, infections in the oral cavity, to difficulty swallowing, speaking or chewing.

There are a number of causes of dry mouth in diabetics, including:

1. High Blood Sugar

Reduced production The hormone insulin can ultimately increase blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) in the body of people with diabetes mellitus.

High blood sugar levels can cause dry mouth. However, until now the exact cause of this condition is not known.

If your blood sugar is not well controlled, your doctor or medical professional can help you plan a healthy diet and other diabetes treatments.

In addition, as much as possible avoid foods and drinks with a high sugar content, such as soda, candy and desserts.

2. Dehydration

Diabetes mellitus or diabetes insipidus is at risk of dehydration. If left unchecked, this condition can lead to dry mouth.

People with diabetes mellitus can experience intense thirst accompanied by an equally severe urge to urinate. This is what ultimately triggers dry mouth.

Meanwhile, in people with diabetes insipidus, it is difficult for the kidneys to excrete fluids in the body. In the end, sufferers experience excessive thirst until they become dehydrated.

Also Read: Diabetics are prone to bad breath, what causes it?

3. Kidney problems

Dry mouth in people with diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2 can be caused by kidney problems.

In patients, there is a buildup of sugar in the blood. This condition causes the kidneys to work harder to remove the excess sugar. Eventually, fluids will be drawn from the body so thirst can be felt.

You can overcome this condition by taking medicines prescribed by a doctor. Not only that, it is also important to drink enough water every day.

5. Keto Diet

Diabetics are advised to limit daily carbohydrate intake. The reason is, carbohydrates that enter the body can be broken down into sugar. That’s what makes type 2 diabetes sufferers often go on a keto diet in order to control their disease.

Although this diet is useful, there are still side effects that must be considered. One of them is dry mouth.

The cause of this condition is dehydration due to water loss. When carbohydrates are reduced, glycogen (glucose in the muscles and liver) will come out of the blood so that the body loses fluids.

4. Drugs Diabetes

Several types of diabetes medications can cause dry mouth in diabetics. One drug that can trigger this problem is metformin.

In addition, ACE inhibitor drugs used to treat hypertension in diabetics can also cause dry mouth.

If you suspect that the cause of your dry mouth is due to medication, consult a doctor immediately.

6. Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a complication of diabetes mellitus which is characterized by increased levels of ketones in the body. Apart from causing a dry mouth, this condition makes your breath smell fruity to excessive thirst.

Ketones are by-products that come from fat metabolism. The body will use it as a substitute for energy reserves when carbohydrate intake is reduced.

If this condition continues, ketones can accumulate in the blood, affecting its acidity.

Diabetics who experience it can become very sick. It can also indicate that your disease is not well controlled.

Also Read: Don’t Underestimate Loose Teeth, It Could Be a Sign of Diabetes

In the end, dry mouth in diabetics that is not treated can cause oral health problems, ranging from canker sores, gingivitis, periodontitis, bad breath, to disturbing the sense of taste.

Therefore, immediately check the condition to the doctor if you experience it. Don’t forget to maintain healthy teeth and mouth by brushing your teeth regularly and visiting the dentist regularly every 6 months.

  1. Macpherson, Rachel. 2021. Diabetes and Dry Mouth. (Accessed January 26, 2023).
  2. Masood, Wajeed, et al. 2022. Ketogenic Diet. (Accessed January 26, 2023).
  3. Wulandari, Endah Ayu T. 2022. Important But Often Forgotten: Oral Health in Diabetics. (Accessed January 26, 2023).

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